Stifling defense, a relentless midfield, and a couple of goals: Antonio Conte’s orchestrated more than a few games befitting that description and it definitely fits Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 takedown of Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday at the Amex Stadium.
Cristian Romero and Harry Kane scored on either side of halftime as Spurs put seven shots on target and Hugo Lloris wasn’t asked to make a single save in the win.
Tottenham moves back into seventh, two points back of fifth-place Manchester United and three behind Arsenal if the Gunners fail to come back against Liverpool.
Brighton’s 33 points remain a 13th-place total, early-season European dreams now as unlikely as the Seagulls rewarding their possession with multiple goals.
Brighton vs Tottenham final score, stats
Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2
Goals scored: Romero (37′), Kane (57′)
Shots: Brighton 15, Spurs 17
Shots on target: Brighton 0, Spurs 7
Possession: Brighton 48, Spurs 52
Three things we learned from Brighton vs Tottenham
1. Breakup? What breakup? You know that long-term couple who has a bitter spat, “breaks up,” and then is suddenly back at the bar, hand-in-hand? That’s starting to feel a bit like Harry Kane and Tottenham now that Spurs are treating their relationship like one befitting an all-time club hero and a team that can compete for Europe. Antonio Conte’s a heck of a shoulder to cry on, Fabio Paratici a very good marriage counselor, and Kane has seven goals in his last six PL matches as the transfer market teaches us that money can buy love (if love is embodied by Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Betancur, which, well, maybe?).
2. Brighton. Striker Help. Rinse. Repeat. Say it with us again: Brighton needs another Neal Maupay to pair with the Frenchman or a significant upgrade on the striker. Flurries of chances mean little if you don’t finish them. Ask Man City.
3. Fourth-place still gonna come down to North London? With all due respect to Manchester United, who is now down to a single competition at least, the North London derby victor may well be the club that goes to the UEFA Champions League. Arsenal won 3-1 at the Emirates in September, but this is a different Spurs team. Expect intensity… even more than the usual dose (which is a customer’s pour) whenever the reverse fixture finds its way to the calendar.
Man of the Match: Rodrigo Betancur — This could be Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, too, as Spurs’ center of the park was very difficult territory for Brighton. But Betancur’s strong finish to the game started with a terrific line-breaking pass to Kane for Spurs’ second goal. He gets our nod.
Some guys get some of the luck
Dejan Kulusevski’s been playing very well
for almost his entire career since arriving at Tottenham and his shot took a wicked turn off of Cristian Romero’s shin to wrongfoot Robert Sanchez
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]